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About Jon
Thank You For Not ...

1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
6) using hyperbole when something less will suffice
7) using sarcasm in a way that can be misinterpreted negatively
8) making the same point over and over again
9) typing "no-hitter" or "perfect game" to describe either in progress
10) being annoyed by the existence of this list
11) commenting under the obvious influence
12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with

The Coolbaugh Tragedy
2007-09-19 20:30
by Jon Weisman

There's a powerful story on the death of Rockies coach Mike Coolbaugh in this week's Sports Illustrated.

* * *

The Dodgers might take a Spring Training trip to China next year, reports The Associated Press.

Comments (110)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-09-19 20:37:21
1.   jtrichey
Big Bad Jon has now appeared in 26 out of 46 games since August 1. Now that our season is truly over, let's just give Broxton the rest of the year off.
2007-09-19 20:38:27
2.   jtrichey
The Rockie announcers seem to think every play and pitch the Rockies make is a good play or better. Sullivan catches Martin's easy pop fly, and it was a GOOD play by Sullivan. Arizona's guys do the same thing, needless to say Scully does not.
2007-09-19 20:39:11
3.   Eric Stephen
Perspective is a dish best served cold.
2007-09-19 20:39:38
4.   Bluebleeder87
well at least NOW Grady will probably bring in Jonathan Meloan & Hull & probably play Hu also.
2007-09-19 20:41:27
5.   GMac In The 909
The Dodgers might take a Spring Training trip to China next year

Next year can't get here fast enough.

2007-09-19 20:41:30
6.   Vishal
4 and it would be high irony if we win out with those guys playing.
2007-09-19 20:42:08
7.   Kingmans Performance
I'm calling Bob Harvey right now.

I'm not gonna hold anything back on Grady, Ned, Frank or Jamie. Lookout KFWB.

I'll identify myself as Frank from Placentia,
and I hope the rest of you Dodger fans do the same.

2007-09-19 20:42:41
8.   Bluebleeder87
& to be fair to Grady I can see were he has a comfort zone with the guys he brings in, but do you do it to a point were it messes them up? we have so many fresh arms, I don't get it™
2007-09-19 20:43:46
9.   still bevens
Its like Proctor brought with him Joe Torre's disease for horrible bullpen usage.
2007-09-19 20:45:43
10.   Bluebleeder87

I'm thinking of calling in also.

Yes, Harvey, this is Bluebleeder...

shout out, DT, bro!

2007-09-19 20:46:24
11.   Eric Stephen
8 I really app®e©iate your willy nilly use of the various ™ symbols.
2007-09-19 20:47:45
12.   Bob Timmermann
The article about Coolbaugh was very good and deeply moving.
2007-09-19 20:47:51
13.   regfairfield
Seriously, who comes in at that moment instead of Broxton? Yes, he's been overused, but I don't see how this was a fireable offense since it was either him, or someone like Seanez. Meloan wasn't coming in, Hull wasn't coming in, who do you turn to?
2007-09-19 20:50:39
14.   Bluebleeder87
hail mary, somebody, I don't know, I see your point RegFairFeild, I'm just being difficult after a difficult loss.
2007-09-19 20:51:39
15.   underdog
Well, as the sage Daffy Duck once asked, "Anyone for tennis?"
2007-09-19 20:52:43
16.   be2ween
Good times.
2007-09-19 20:54:11
17.   El Lay Dave
13 I agree, but it's a cumulative problem. This is the right situation for Broxton, but it also shouldn't be his 80th appearance. That's an 85 appearance pace; 85 has been topped exactly 22 times. Ever. (per baseball-reference). And some of those guy were LOOGYs.
2007-09-19 20:55:55
18.   underdog
I basically agree, I remember thinking - "I like this, Grady is going back to these guys to show he's still got faith." And heck, I was feeling faith in him too. After tonight, I think he needs to rest for awhile. I guess the assumption is, you bring in Meloan or Hull there and things would go much better. I like those guys, but if it's them, or Seanez or god forbid Hernandez, with the way the Rockies were mashing the ball, I can't picture much better results. Still, I'm as frustrated as anyone, but I can't see as many hangable offenses as some are.

Plus, Marnie's on cable. This movie always creeps me out.

2007-09-19 20:56:06
19.   trainwreck
Who knows? Maybe this experience will cause Broxton to develop a changeup or some other pitch.
2007-09-19 20:57:34
20.   underdog
Oh I don't know anymore! Rest 'em all though. Go crazy Grady, nothing else's working. Play Hu, pitch Meloan, who cares now? Yaaaarrrrgh, is right.
2007-09-19 20:59:30
21.   trainwreck
We want Moeller!

clap clap clap clap clap

2007-09-19 21:06:22
22.   El Lay Dave
"Down the stretch you play your vets. Nomar, Kent, Gonzo, there is no reason to rest them. That's why you signed them, keep them in there against all comers. They need every at bat, the presence of them in the lineup means everything right now especially against the teams you need to catch."

Kevin Kennedy, post-game.

I admit, I thought I might have liked Kent in both games of the doubleheader - was he really that tired?

And wasn't that the thinking that had Grady sticking with Pedro?

And wasn't Gonzalez signed to be the bridge to Kemp? Well, Kemp has arrived.

And didn't a young lineup, other than Helton who is now 34 (!), just beat the Dodgers three straight and pass them in the standings??

And have I abused conjunctions enough?

2007-09-19 21:08:06
23.   CanuckDodger
13 -- Of course you bring in Seanez. Or anybody BUT Broxton. Like you, I focus on performance over the long run to get a sense of how a player is likley to perform over a career or over a period of years, but it is fascinating to me that you clearly discount the idea that a small but VERY RECENT sample size can give you an idea of how a player is likely to perform right NOW. Right now, Broxton is not competent. His career stats don't reveal that. His 2007 stats don't reveal that. His September 2007 stats DO reveal that.
2007-09-19 21:09:25
24.   GMac In The 909
22 You also forgot to mention that a young lineup is leading the division.
2007-09-19 21:13:22
25.   Bob Timmermann
But what's their function? Hooking up words and phrases and clauses?
2007-09-19 21:16:12
26.   LogikReader
ST trip to China? I guess they already started by digging themselves a big hole.
2007-09-19 21:20:04
27.   regfairfield
23 In my mind, it's probably a tossup between Seanez and Broxton, simply because Broxton has thrown so often recently. However, if Seanez gives up the home run, how many people call for Grady's head anyway?
2007-09-19 21:26:23
28.   Howard Fox
so here I was this afternoon commenting about my lack of faith in our starting pitching, and my belief that with all we talk about here...2 or 3 position players...our biggest problem is our starting rotation...

and everyone is quoting statistics and comparisons of other teams, etc etc...telling me I know nothing of what I speak...we are 2nd best in this category, 3rd best in that category...

and yet our relievers are now overworked, tired, and at crunch time are now unable to close the deal...

no matter how great the stats, no matter how great the whip or era or whatever you want to rest your opinions on...our starters only go 5 or 6 innings a game...

you can't win if you need your relievers to pitch every single game, they just can't go 162 days in a row...

2007-09-19 21:26:42
29.   dodgerkramer1
The Broxton issue shouldn't even be debatable. The Dodgers MUST shut him down the rest of the season.

This guy is a big part of our future, and Grady is killing him. For what?

Big Jon is either not right physically, or he's not right psychologically. He's pitched in 300 games the last two years, so I doubt it's a psychological thing.

Thank goodness they lost tonight because that makes shutting him down more likely.

2007-09-19 21:29:17
30.   overkill94
29 I agree, but I doubt they'll shut him down completely until we're officially eliminated. We need to start incorporating Hull and Meloan into the 6th and 7th innings and let Proctor have the 8th inning role for now. Let Broxton pitch every three or four days in a lower pressure situation just to get his confidence back up going into next year. I'm sure he'll be fine in the long-term, but I'd hate to have these last few weeks weighing on his mind going into next spring.
2007-09-19 21:29:46
31.   walbers
dodgers coming to china? too bad they're not coming here to Qingdao...guess i'll have an excuse to go to Beijing for a couple of days. i'll bet it's going to be damn cold then....they should go to southern china....
2007-09-19 21:31:59
32.   dodgerkramer1
30: Good call. That's a good compromise.
2007-09-19 21:32:00
33.   underdog
Is there some law that was passed that forces ABC Family channel to show Mrs. Doubtfire every other night? Just wondering. As you were...
2007-09-19 21:32:21
34.   Fallout
I don't understand the philosophy to be thankful that the Dodgers lost in order to quit using a player...
2007-09-19 21:34:13
35.   Howard Fox
29 Little won't hold back Broxton now that all is lost, instead he will trot him out there every day to show him they still have confidence in him...

you seem to forget how well our manager handles our pitchers

2007-09-19 21:34:35
36.   regfairfield
29 What Dodger reliever is overworked aside from Broxton? Why couldn't this have been solved by not using him 18 times this year with a four run lead or more, rather than placing the blame on one of the best rotations in the NL?
2007-09-19 21:38:25
37.   KG16
28 - more than a few times this year, we've had to have a starting pitcher come out because we couldn't score runs and the pitcher's spot was up while trailing or tied. So, in a way, the problems on offense are leading to problems with the starting rotation not going more innings.

All these problems are inter-related.

As good as this team looked on paper, it was flawed in many ways on the field. Injuries, bad personnel moves, poor base running, untimely pitching, a line up constantly in flux, you name it, we saw it this year.

For some reason, I don't expect much difference next year.

2007-09-19 21:38:55
38.   Howard Fox
sorry, stats aside, I just don't see ours as one of the best...they pitch 5 or 6 innings, allow 2 or 3 runs, throw 100 the result is a collective ERA of the starters of 3.5 to 4.0, among the best in the majors...

still leaving 3 or 4 innings for the relief corp daily...burnout city...

2007-09-19 21:40:38
39.   Vishal
34 i believe the logic goes:

- we are already realistically out of contention this season
- broxton is overworked and needs time off
- broxton's long term health is more important/valuable than winning a couple more meaningless games this season
- so if we're gonna be eliminated anyway, it's better to be mathematically eliminated sooner so grady won't feel compelled to use broxton because we're technically in the playoff race and the game is tight.

2007-09-19 21:41:20
40.   be2ween
With apologies to Glen Campbell,
"By the time I get to Phoenix,
she'll be ,,,
oh what's the use, people?!

Nothin' to see here. Keep it movin'.
That's right. It's all over. Go on about your business now.

2007-09-19 21:42:42
41.   Howard Fox
39 I refer you to my comment in 35
2007-09-19 21:42:44
42.   Bob Timmermann
Padres score 3 in the ninth on a walkoff homer by Hairston to win 5-3.
2007-09-19 21:42:47
43.   trainwreck
This team looked good on paper?
2007-09-19 21:43:09
44.   dodgerkramer1
34: The 2007 boat has sailed. I spent the evening dining with my in-laws because the game meant nada -- except for the damage it could do to 2008, 2009, etc.

36: I don't think Saito has been overused. Or Beimel. I don't really care about Seanez's arm. Broxton and Martin are the two players who have been abused by Grady. Everyone agree on that?

2007-09-19 21:44:03
45.   King of the Hobos
36 Clearly using Broxton in those situations was ridiculous, but while the rotation is very good, it doesn't go very deep into games. The Dodgers rotation is 20th in the league in innings per start (5.74 IP/GS).
2007-09-19 21:45:25
46.   Howard Fox
44 agree on Broxton and Martin, but Beimel has the most appearances in the league for a lefty I believe?
2007-09-19 21:45:30
47.   KG16
43 - yeah, at the beginning of the season:

1. Schmidt, Penny, Lowe, Wolf, Billingsly, Kuo

2. Martin, Ethier everyday

3. Loney, Kemp expected to be called up

4. Furcal avoiding injury

5. Broxton and Saito at the back end

6. Betemit as Mr. Utility

I'd say in April that all looked pretty good. Especially given the expectations of the NL West.

2007-09-19 21:46:36
48.   Howard Fox
45 thank you....that is what I have been saying....great stats based on short work...
2007-09-19 21:46:37
49.   regfairfield
38 Once again, what reliever is burned out aside from Broxton? Beimel has been better in the second half and this has been his best month yet in terms of ERA, Proctor has yet to give up a run in September, nor has Houlton. Saito is having his worst month of the year, but that's just because of one pitch, Seanez is the only other guy who's had a bad September, but he's never really survived a season before so this is new territory.
2007-09-19 21:47:28
50.   Howard Fox
47 except for one thing which trumps all....Grady Little
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-09-19 21:48:29
51.   LogikReader
Well another mediocre year starts to come to a close.

Something has to happen. I'm tired of tweenies. Are we going to be a young team or an old team? This "bridge" philosophy is a ship that has sailed.

2007-09-19 21:48:51
52.   dodgerkramer1
46 Good point. It's just that Beimel is so much more replaceable than Brox or Martin.
2007-09-19 21:49:54
53.   LogikReader
How many mediocre years have the Dodgers had now? 19 in a row? I guess it's more like 17 of 19, if we take out '02 and '04
2007-09-19 21:49:55
54.   Howard Fox
52 but there is no one I would rather watch pitch with a runner on first than Beimel
2007-09-19 21:50:12
55.   Fallout
Burning out pitchers is a contagious Dodger disease that was incubated during the Tommy Lasorda reign.:) Boy, would you guys go nuts if Lasorda was managing.
2007-09-19 21:50:21
56.   LogikReader
and '05 and '92 I suppose. Those years were just ba-ad
2007-09-19 21:50:48
57.   Andrew Shimmin
But the team has allowed fewer runs than all but three other teams. Short starts, over worked pen, Hendrickson, Tomko, and Hernandez, the rose bush, two outfielders who couldn't hit the cutoff man if they had a sniper rifle. . . The team still allowed fewer runs than all but the very best of the best.

Wouldn't it be easier to field an offense that isn't in the bottom third of the league in scoring runs, than to super-awesomify the rotation?

2007-09-19 21:51:28
58.   Howard Fox
yes, Lasorda burned them all out...but our relievers were fresher at the end of the season...he told me to say that...
2007-09-19 21:51:35
59.   LogikReader
"Come sail away, come sail away, come sa-il away with meeeeeeeee-lads"
2007-09-19 21:51:43
60.   El Lay Dave
NL-wide, starters pitched 64.23% of the innings, or 5.78 out of every 9.

Dodgers are below that, at 63.97% or 5.76 out of every 9. (I have no idea how that compares to all the other teams, but SD is 63.65%, 5.73 out of every 9.)

2007-09-19 21:52:04
61.   trainwreck
Bills and Kuo were not in the rotation to begin the year and we knew that going into the season.

Our lineup, If I re-call right, was this at the beginning of the year. That is really not good on paper.

We really had no idea just how much Kemp and Loney were going to play.

2007-09-19 21:52:54
62.   King of the Hobos
To be fair, our rotation's big 3 are fine. They average 6.22 IP/GS. The rest of the rotation averages 4.73 IP/GS!
2007-09-19 21:53:02
63.   LogikReader
Sorry to post so much at once: My feeling is the lack of offense is putting too much strain on the relievers and other starters. Too many close games, little room for error, can lead to a lot of pressure.

It's been the MO for a few years now though, would you agree?

2007-09-19 21:54:25
64.   LogikReader
I was wondering: Even though none of us find Livan Hernandez very impressive, he does manage to pitch a high number of innings and happens to stay free of injuries. Could he make an OK 5th starter?
2007-09-19 21:54:47
65.   El Lay Dave
45 Do you have the whole list? Are they all close to 5 3/4 IP per start?
2007-09-19 21:55:49
66.   Howard Fox
I would agree that the great Dodger teams of the past couldn't hit, but could pitch and keep the other teams from scoring...

It seems every one of our starters have a couple of innings a night where the game hangs in the seems that they generally have these lapses in concentration where they forget where the strike zone is...

2007-09-19 21:57:13
67.   Howard Fox
64 Coletti won't go for him unless he asks for a 2 year deal for $11 mill per and promises to find a way to the DL for at least 2-3 months
2007-09-19 21:58:04
68.   King of the Hobos
65 They range from 5.16 (Texas) to 6.32 (Cleveland). The mean for my data is 5.8, with a SD of .27
2007-09-19 21:58:23
69.   Fallout
If Colletti hadn't traded Betemit for Proctor, the bullpen would have really been a mess!
2007-09-19 21:58:49
70.   KG16
57 - agreed, plus, scoring more runs early means not having to pull your pitch in the bottom of the fifth for a pinch hitter because you're down 3-1 with 2 on and 2 out.

As I said above, all these problems are related. I am convinced that Penny, Lowe, and Billingsly can consistently give us 7 IP next year, if they can get any kind of run support. Having guys who can throw the ball in the outfield will also help reduce the runs scored against the Dodgers because teams will be more reluctant to take the extra base.

2007-09-19 21:59:08
71.   bearlurker

Indeed it was. I can barely see the screen after having read that, and I care much less about our Dodgers missing out on the playoffs.

2007-09-19 21:59:31
72.   regfairfield
64 If he joined the team, he might not be one of the 10 best starters in the organization.
2007-09-19 21:59:57
73.   El Lay Dave
66 The 70s Dodgers could mash. 30/30/30/30 in 1977 when 30 HRs meant something.
2007-09-19 22:03:46
74.   El Lay Dave
68 Thanks.
2007-09-19 22:07:25
75.   Bob Timmermann
The 1962 Dodgers didn't hit a lot of home runs, but they were still second in the NL in runs scored.
2007-09-19 22:19:29
76.   Bob Timmermann
The Dodgers are batting .274 and the team record since coming to LA is .276 set last year.

The Dodgers went 15 for 51 and that didn't make a dent.

2007-09-19 22:21:37
77.   LogikReader
Yes Bob, but just because you have the highest batting average doesn't mean a lot of runs get scored. There have to be a) persons on base and b) hits that go for extra bases

Sorry for that snarkiness...

2007-09-19 22:21:44
78.   Bob Timmermann
Whoops, it was 15 for 41. The Dodgers are up to .275.
2007-09-19 22:22:46
79.   LogikReader
The White Sox, the Red Sox, the Angels, and the expansion Marlins have all won World Series since the last playoff series the Dodgers won.

Maybe the Dodgers are the one with the curse?

2007-09-19 22:22:59
80.   Bob Timmermann
My statement was just a statement. It wasn't an opinion.

So why did you bother making that comment?

I don't accept that apology.

2007-09-19 22:23:35
81.   LogikReader
btw, Bob, did they go 15 for 41 during that stretch where they couldn't score a single run in Cincinnati?
2007-09-19 22:24:59
82.   LogikReader

You're right. I'm sorry for not using better discretion. Impressive team batting average duly noted.

2007-09-19 22:29:26
83.   Bob Timmermann
Last year, the Dodgers are also set team records in OBP and SLG.

They aren't anywhere near those this year.

2007-09-19 22:31:17
84.   trainwreck
Did not help that our division got a lot better too.
2007-09-19 22:46:46
85.   King of the Hobos
From Diamond Leung:

Jonathan Broxton has been experiencing some soreness in his arm that might be the cause of his struggles.

"I won't back down," Broxton said. "I'll go until I get hurt."

Takashi Saito made the rare gesture of pulling translator Scott Akasaki aside so he could specifically speak to Broxton and say that these things happen.

2007-09-19 22:48:42
86.   trainwreck
Great, he has been drinking the Gagne Kool-Aid.
2007-09-19 22:50:36
87.   Greg Brock
Thanks for the Coolbaugh link, Jon. What a terrible thing to happen.
2007-09-19 22:55:54
88.   bhsportsguy
84 The strange thing is that you cannot tell me that San Diego or Arizona's offenses are any better than the Dodgers.

They are not better, they may be similar outside of the home runs but those home runs did not produce more runs.

82 The Dodgers have the 5th highest total of hits + walks in the NL.

Oh that fateful spring day, a big difference between last year and this year, last year, Rafael Furcal had 150 plate appearances with RISP, he hit .346 with a .910 OPS. So far, this year in 144 plate appearances with RISP, Furcal is hitting .246 with a .642 OPS.

2007-09-19 23:22:13
89.   CanuckDodger
85 -- Well, there it is, everything we talked about yesterday. Broxton is hurt, and he is trying to play in spite of it because that is what players not named J.D. Drew always want to do. I don't blame Broxton for WANTING to play through it. I blame management for letting him. I would blame management even if it weren't hurting the team, and it is.
2007-09-19 23:26:23
90.   eusmus
88 San Diego's numbers are skewed by Petco. They have the 4th best away offense (in terms of runs scored) in the NL behind only the Phillies, Braves, and Mets.
2007-09-19 23:26:37
91.   bhsportsguy
89 But pitchers have sore arms, whose to say that his soreness is unusual. Most guys are battling something right now, if they are hurt, they should let someone know about it.
2007-09-19 23:28:33
92.   bhsportsguy
90 San Diego is 15 games over .500 at home and 2 games over on the road so I am not sure their road scoring ability is really relevant.
2007-09-19 23:33:51
93.   fracule
57 The extra sad thing is that they're not even in the bottom third in the NL, or MLB. Its just that what Arizona is doing is incredibly uncommon. Just a weird season. Unfortunately, I do not recall to many instances where consistant teams have much success. You must run up some good winning streaks to win divisions, and make it to the playoffs. Look at what Arizona did to the NL East.
2007-09-19 23:43:26
94.   CanuckDodger
91 -- The dramatic difference in the quality of Broxton's performance now compared to before tells us either how unusual or serious the soreness is, obviously. But even if Broxton weren't admitting to having a sore arm, what I have been saying still stands: SOMERTHING is wrong, whatever it is is persisting, so shut him down. And besides, you really don't need a reason to stop using someone who is performing consistently badly other than that "he is performing consistently badly," do you?
2007-09-19 23:49:08
95.   Andrew Shimmin
The Dodgers moved up a couple places in the last day or two; I should have rechecked before reposting the old rank. The Cubs moved ahead of them in Runs Allowed, too. The Dodgers have allowed 64 fewer runs than the NL average. They've scored twenty fewer than the NL average.
2007-09-20 00:05:37
96.   bhsportsguy
94 Broxton has had a rough 2 weeks but when exactly do you shut him down, after the Giant series so he is not available to have a couple scoreless outings against the Padres and then get some outs in the second AZ win.

If he is hurt, that's one thing but I don't think you sit him because he had 3 or 4 rough outings in a short time.

2007-09-20 00:08:56
97.   Marty
Great piece on Coolbaugh. Incredibly sad. I kept thinking of A Prayer for Owen Meany.
2007-09-20 00:14:32
98.   eusmus
92 I'm not talking about their record, I'm talking about how good their offense is. The only reason the Dodgers have scored more runs than the Padres this year is because they don't play all their home games in Petco Park.
2007-09-20 00:23:59
99.   Eric Enders
96 "Broxton has had a rough 2 weeks but when exactly do you shut him down"

Answer: At the first hint of soreness. Like, right freaking now. We're out of the pennant race. And even if we weren't, it would be the right thing to do. The guy just turned 23. He has a bright future ahead of him if Grady stops treating him like Tommy Lasorda would.

I'll be very, very upset if Broxton pitches in another game this year. And frankly, 85 is the scariest thing (baseball-related) I've read in a long time.

2007-09-20 00:24:57
100.   Reddog
Oh well, wait till next year.

The main thing on my wish list is that Colletti sign no more over-the-hill vets. As we can see by looking at Arizona and Colorado, playing your young players can be a good and winning strategy - and it builds to the future.

The only thing Colletti should add if he can find it would be a legitimate home run hitter - I think the team needs one of those.

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-09-20 00:36:10
101.   Benjamin Miracord
Jon, the Mike Coolbaugh story certainly puts our little four-game losing streak into perspective.

Mr. Coolbaugh was a wonderful man who will be deeply, deeply missed.

Thank you for bringing this article to our attention.

2007-09-20 00:40:55
102.   bhsportsguy
One of the biggest fallacies of this season is that Arizona is winning because they are playing young players.

Playing young players doesn't guarantee you winning season, Kansas City, Tampa Bay are playing youngsters and where are they. What about last year's young team, Florida where are they this season.

Arizona may be on the start of something but then what if they play .500 ball in one run games next year, they will have to hope a better offense while getting similar pitching.

2007-09-20 00:55:18
103.   trainwreck
I do not think fans would have a problem if we signed good veterans to go with our young players. People just have a problem when you sign bad ones or ones that seem to be heading towards the end of their careers.

It is why we did not hear much clamoring for Abreu to take over for Kent during the season.

2007-09-20 01:08:52
104.   overkill94
To those who remain impatient with the transition from old to young...don't be. This was the last year where there was any question whether the youth could handle the spotlight and obviously they have answered the call. Martin, Billingsley, Kemp, Loney, Broxton, and even Ethier to a lesser extent have shown management that they have what it takes to produce right away, so barring injury or extended ineffectiveness they will be key cogs in our system for years to come.

Now the only veterans we will need to sign will be complementary pieces to our already established foundation instead of stop-gaps to make sure said youngsters are truly ready for the big time.

The only top prospects left in the minors are LaRoche, Kershaw, Hu, McDonald, and Abreu. LaRoche may or may not be able to truly compete for the 3B job next spring, but it wouldn't kill him to spend a little more time in AAA and with Nomar being more fallible than usual, it will be easier to displace him if the need arises. Kershaw and McDonald seem to be close to contributing and with the uncertainty of Schmidt combined with Loaiza not being untouchable, I don't see why either of them wouldn't be given a chance if the team truly needs them. Hu and Abreu both have players whose contracts end after 2008 so all they have to do is hold serve until then and they should be able to claim their spots. The only spot on the diamond with a less-than-ideal long-term signing is center field, but unless Delwyn Young truly forces management to take him seriously (I'm talking 30+ homers in Vegas) then we don't really have a vastly superior option being blocked.

To sum up my lengthy post, I don't see how Ned could screw up the organization's progress. This year he was a bit hesitant to hand over the reins, but he shouldn't be worried going into next year (and more importantly the press won't fault him either) so there's less pressure to make moves just for the sake of making moves. This should be the start of a dynasty, so with even the slightest amount of shrewdness we should be able to maintain a highly-competitive team.

2007-09-20 01:45:13
105.   Xeifrank
wow, interesting that they might go to China for some spring training games. Like an earlier commenter mentioned, it could be a bit chilly depending on which part of March they were in China (assuming it's Beijing). Hope they are prepared for the pollution. I wonder what kind of facilities they have in China for baseball. Afterall, they do have a Chinese National team now, but I would assume they train in southern China. March can also have some of the worst dust storms imagineable in the Beijing area. I was there at the end of March this year and the weather was nice, but earlier in the month watch out. Late September and early October is the best time to travel to Beijing. Guo will get his name pronounced correctly there, assuming he is healthy enough to make the trip.
vr, Xei
2007-09-20 02:19:46
106.   Andrew Shimmin
Just because there won't necessarily be a free, vastly superior option on the roster next year doesn't mean Pierre is less of a problem. He'll just be a less galling one.

If Kemp can keep up what he's been doing (no sure thing; but, then, I thought Martin would regress this year), the portion of ABs he'll be taking that LuGo took this year will be significantly better used. The portion of those ABs that go to Ethier may or may not be. Ethier hasn't been much better than LuGo at the plate this year (mostly because LuGo has had what I think is an under-lauded year; who expected he'd be as good as he's been? Way to go, LuGo!). Ethier's been under-performing his PECOTA projection (he's between his 40th and 50th percentile EQA), so maybe, along with being a year older, he'll be better last year. The defensive pickup of swapping him for LuGo is likely to be very big.

Nomar is posting the lowest EQA of his career. He's a 0 WARP player this year (which puts him seven tenths of a point better than Hillenbrand). If he has a Mike Lowell-ian turn around in him, that would be fantastic. But even two months of 2007 Nomar will be a bitter pill, next year. While a free, (likely) vastly superior option gets seasoning down in AAA, gallingly.

I don't expect Kershaw in L.A. next year, especially not before the roster expansion. It could happen, but I'd bet against it. Maybe McDonald will get a call up. I think Hendrickson is coming back, and that he will sit higher atop the depth chart than McDonald would. I think Colletti will buy another FA starting pitcher this winter. So, that would mean some combination of three injuries, or disenchantments, to get to a McDonald. Or, instead, whatever thirty-something innings-eater who's having a good year on a team that would be willing to trade him for Dewitt, Miller, and whichever top thirty prospect failed to smile enough at Colletti during Spring Training.

My biggest hope for next year is that Furcal rebounds. If that happens, along with some decent outcome at 3B, and Penny and Billingsley staying healthy, next year will be better than this one. If any of those things goes wrong, next year might not be so hot, either. Sure, Arizona has been lucky this year. But San Diego and Colorado haven't been, extraordinarily. The three biggest drags on this team's mediocre or worse offense are coming back next year. That's not good news, even if Nomar's leash can be reasonably expected to be short.

2007-09-20 04:46:46
107.   D4P
Soaring with the Eagles:

marty 80
bill crain 81
d4p 82
trainwreck 83
clair malone-evans 83
joeyp 84
humma kavula 84
schoffle 84
regfairfield 84
scareduck 85
greg brock 85
gobears 85.5
kavymon 86
disabled list 86
gagne55 86
bobtimmermann 87
gen3blue 87
oldfan60 87
ssjames 88
toycannon 88
underdog 89
natepurcell 89
bhsportsguy 89
vishal 89
unclemiltie 89
paranoidandroid 89

Swimming with the Fishes:

ericenders 68
hythloday 76
dodgerbakers 90
bumsrap 90
johnson 90
stopthebeachballs 90
lat 90
screwballin 90
thinkingblue 90
daniel zappala 91
midwest blue 91
josh97201 91
Benaiah 92
sushirabbit 92
stevesaxarm 92
korean guy 92
kinbote 92
greg s 93
s choir 93
ellaydave 93
inside baseball 94
eric stephen 94
stolenmonkey86 94
tellmethescorerickmonday 100
dzzrtRatt 101
firshmohican 101
gpellamjr 102

2007-09-20 06:29:28
108.   Sam DC
Bah, you lot and your movies and your stories of human drama and loss.

I teared up reading this.

2007-09-20 07:17:03
109.   Jon Weisman
New post up top.
2007-09-20 07:27:25
110.   Bluebleeder87
I couple of things I (as a fan) wanna get out of my chest.

1)I'm on neutral terms with Ned, His PVL leanings have driven me that way

2)Grady Little is an american league manager, Tommy Lasorda had it right when saying (on the behind the glory, designated hitters) that American league managers aren't good strategist & after 2 years of Grady I've come to terms with that, hearing him in interviews he doesn't seem like an observing manager (maybe he puts a different face when being interviewed to be fair to him) I'm no genious but at least I'm observing & Broxtons mechanics just don't look right of late, HECK! his #'s will tell you that as well!!

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